The Point: If you’ve ever taken in a Cirque du Soleil show you know that the pure athleticism of a cast member is simply mind-boggling. It bears repeating… Mind –boggling! Mix several of these cast members into the choreography of the show itself and it can be sensory overload (almost inducing a nauseous state!) In this post we’ll examine the leadership challenge of flexibility and provide 5 tips so that you as a leader can be more Cirque-like in your leadership pursuits… Enjoy!
I Have to Do What with My Phone?
Is there anything better than taking in a show in Las Vegas? In full transparency, I’m fortunate enough to call Las Vegas home and am 100% biased. I simply believe it’s the best city on Earth! After all, who has better entertainment, restaurants, and night-life than LV (I’ll recognize NYC, but…)? And nothing is better than going to see the Cirque du Soleil shows. From KA at MGM, Michael Jackson at Mandalay Bay, The Beatles at Mirage, “O” at Bellagio, the list goes on and on… Each of them fantastic in their own right.
As different as each of these shows are, there is a core athleticism that remains the constant benchmark. The cast members are not only in fantastic shape, but the choreography highlights just how fantastically athletic each one is. Another constant is a need for safety for each and every cast member. So with safety in mind, each show starts off with a “kind” way of informing the audience to please shut-off your cell phones (NOTE: Videos/Photos are forbidden!)
5 Tips for Leadership Flexibility
I recently took in the “O” show at Bellagio, and it did not disappoint! I was left mouth-opened (ironically in the shape of an “O”), gasping for explanation as to how the cast members were able to pull-off the many choreographed scenes that were performed. In a word, I was stumped!
So it’s with this show in mind that I began to ponder “What are the leadership lessons that can be learned from such an amazing production?” Here then are 5 tips for the leadership challenge of flexibility, Cirque-style:
Tip #5 – Sometimes It’s Going to Rain!
To say that the “O” Cirque show has water in it is like saying there is oxygen in the air… It’s everywhere! And just when you think you/the cast members are safe water presents itself again and again. So know this much as a leader, it is going to rain (or the elements are not going to cooperate). It’s not a matter of if, but when… So prepare yourself for the elements.
Tip #4 – You Better Be Flexible!
The Cirque cast members, as previously mentioned, are each gifted athletes, with strength and flexibility. So as a leader you had better be prepared to flex your muscles and be flexible when those unplanned business situations arise.
Tip #3 – Eliminate Noise (No Cell Phone Utilization!)
I previously discussed the cute way in which audience members were requested to quiet their phones. Likewise, as a leader sometimes you’ll be better off if you go and sit in a quiet conference room by yourself to actually think (and breath) about what you are going to do. Think of this as a strategy session for one!
Tip #2 – If You’re Scared, Say You’re Scared and Jump In!
The highlight of the “O” show for many is the high-divers that jump to what appears to be their peril, but in actuality land in a very wide/deep pool of water. I guess that old New Orleans phrase of “If you’re scared, say you’re scared” can come in handy for the leader that needs to get over whatever is presenting the obstacle-of-the-moment so that they can move on.
Tip #1 – Enjoy the Moment!
Nothing, and I mean nothing, gave me greater joy than to go see the “O” show with loved ones (I’ve actually seen it twice!) It was in this second viewing that I was able to take in more (See my sensory overload comments earlier) and really notice what was taking place all over the stage. As a leader, you’ll be pulled in a multitude of different directions in what appears to be simultaneous instances. When this occurs, and I know it will be difficult, you need to remember to smell the roses and enjoy the moment.
In this post we’ve explored the leadership challenge of flexibility, brought to life through the magical Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas. While you/I might never look like a Cirque performer (I’m still attempting to!), hopefully the five tips presented will provide you with some insight into how you can be the best leader you can be (Or at the very minimum, jump from a high-dive into a pool!)
PS – If you have a leadership challenge you’d like me to explore, please drop me a line and let me know!